“Be all you can be” is a slogan of the U.S. Army and that is exactly what veteran Michael F. has done. Years after completing high school at Woodland Hills and tours of duty in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Reserves, and the U.S. National Guard, Mr. F. was looking for a civilian job. He stepped into the Career Link in Johnstown, PA and discovered that he qualified for the Job Corps under the veterans disability waiver. His whole life turned around.
In January 2010 he enrolled and became a resident student at the Pittsburgh Job Corps Center in East Liberty. The challenge was being 38 years of age, living in a dorm, and being around young adults ages 16-24. He adjusted and became a mentor and “big brother” to many of the students. He joined the Leadership Academy on center and was given the rank of lieutenant and platoon commander. He became CPR certified, passed his OSHA certification and completed the manufacturing trade. He was part of the bio-diesel fuel production team.
Because of his interest in the green initiatives he participated in the MOVE IT program sponsored by the Heritage Community Initiative and earned more certifications: Asbestos Removal Supervisor, Confined Space, OSHA 30, Lead Removal, Paint Restoration and Repair, and Deconstruction. Mr. F. worked part-time with the Building Management Services Department during his training at the center.
On September 21, 2010 he accepted a full time position as a groundskeeper at the Job Corps facility. Mr. F. ’s advice to students is, “Never pass up what you can have now for later, because later may be too late.” Mr. F. says that Job Corps became a blessing in his life. He lives in the North Braddock part of Pittsburgh with his wife and children.